As if the police don’t have enough problems these days in terms of public relations and a constant onslaught from the media. Under such conditions, they clearly don’t need to create any more issues for themselves. Unfortunately, the cops in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn opened the door to fresh liberal criticism when one of their officers made the mistake of answering a question about recent crime statistics honestly rather than politically correctly, while mixing in some long held “conventional wisdom” which was flatly untrue. At issue was a more than 60% increase in reported rapes in 2016 over the prior year, as reported locally by dnainfo New York. That’s a fairly horriffic sounding number, and obviously any increase in assaults is bad, but we also need to remember that this is a small neighborhood and the number was 13 as opposed to 8. Perhaps more alarming is the fact that 10 of the 13 remain classified as “unsolved.”
When asked about it, Captain Peter Rose came up with an answer that was just begging for some outrage. (Business Insider)
Police attributed the lack of arrests to the fact that most rapes were committed by victims’ acquaintances, adding that women who reported the attacks often stopped cooperating with investigators, according to DNAinfo.
“Some of them were Tinder, some of them were hookup sites, some of them were actually coworkers. It’s not a trend that we’re too worried about because out of 13 (cases), only two were true stranger rapes,” Captain Peter Rose of the 94th Precinct told the website.
“Every rape should be investigated. I wish we could do more,” he said.
Rose went on at a community council meeting that week to answer questions by continuing to suggest that stranger rapes were “total abomination” attacks as opposed to assaults by acquaintances. As you might imagine, that didn’t go over very well.
His comments raised concerns with Jane Manning of the National Organization for Women.
“The idea that ‘this isn’t some guy who’s dangerous to women,’ that in itself is a major window into the mentality that we are up against,” she said.
“If you have the commander of a precinct making comments like that, he’s setting a tone for all the officers of a unit about how seriously to take acquaintance rape cases.
“When I hear the phrase we didn’t have a cooperating victim, my antenna always goes up. If you hear ‘I can’t get the victim to cooperate’ in case after case, you should be asking yourself what are they failing to do?”
You have to have a bit of sympathy for the cop because he clearly hasn’t had any media training to speak of. Of course the National Organization for Women was going to light him up over that. Suggesting that one type of rape is somehow “worse” than another is simply an invitation to a media crusade. But what was Captain Rose actually talking about? If you look at the details from the list of 10 unsolved rapes you can get a feel for it.
Two of the three “stranger rapes” were solved. (A third was a cab driver who has not been apprehended.) Of the others, several were situations where women met up with guys they encountered on dating apps, at parties, through mutual friends or co-workers. They reported a rape as a result of the encounter, but in a number of those cases they stopped cooperating with the police, refused to press charges or simply left the area. As Officer Rose went on to say, “If there’s no complainant, they can’t make an arrest.”
It sounds like the officers at the 94th Precinct are working the cases they can and clearing a good percentage of those, but there are others where they simply can’t make an arrest and build a case. If the victim isn’t willing to make a complaint and participate in the prosecution… at least to the point of making a statement that can be used in court… there’s only so much the cops can do. But police definitely need training in how to speak to the media because that was just a ham handed way to tackle it, and speaking as if sexual assault by a stranger is somehow “worse” than other cases was bound to get them in trouble.